Running to beat wife's rare cancer

04:29, Jun 06 2011
FOR A CAUSE: Powel Crosley has been running to raise funds for cancer research since his wife died.

Powel Crosely thought of women battling a rare cancer as he ran through the rain showering the Christchurch SBS Marathon competitors.

Crosely was running to raise funds for the GCT Foundation New Zealand, which works to find an effective treatment for granulosa cell tumour, the rare form of ovarian cancer which killed his wife.

"I kept telling myself there were lots of days my wife didn't want to go for chemotherapy or didn't want to get out of bed and she did," he said.

"Sometimes you have to do the hard yards and not complain. A lot of women around the world are living that life right now so a bit of hard wind and rain in your face is temporary."

Crosley and his wife set up the GCT Foundation in 2004 while living in Christchurch where they had moved to be closer to doctors treating the disease.

They eventually moved to Auckland and she died two years ago. Crosley said he went out for a run soon afterwards because of a headache and saw a sign for the Auckland marathon.


His decision to enter it as a fundraising event has led to him running eight marathons in New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Serbia in the past 18 months.

The 58-year-old had not been a runner before, but as GCT did not get much attention from governments or pharmaceutical companies he wanted to do something to raise money for research.

He had raised $20,000 so far which was funding three research projects - two in Auckland and one in Canada - to find a non-surgical treatment for the disease.

The foundation was the only one in the world to support women with GCT, he said.

"My goal is to immortalise what my wife was doing, she created the foundation back in 2004 because there was no information available," he said. "As long as I can keep running and until we find something, I'll keep going."

Check out the GCT fundraising website here.

The Press